Power electronics lighting innovator partners with Centennial College to bring product to market

TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - Blue Heron Systems Ltd. has partnered with Centennial College during development of its innovative, intelligent controller for small (<500W) renewable energy systems. Among many potential applications Blue Heron is seeing strong adoption by the street-lighting and security markets, which are ripe for transformation to off-grid clean energy.

Traditional street lighting relies on an electrical grid to supply energy through above- or below-ground distribution cables that connect the lighting standards. The electrical distribution system often represents a significant portion of the total system costs and is the major source of disruptions to existing infrastructure. Even in areas where grid power may be available within a few hundred metres, the cost and timelines for planning, zoning, building permits and construction present challenges.

The Blue Heron Systems solution offers its own local "point-of-use power" in the form of solar- and wind-generated power to overcome such hurdles. The advent of Light Emitting Diode (LED) street-lamp technology reduces power load and increases the life of these technologies. By providing self-healing mesh networking coupled with an intelligent cloud-based management platform, Blue Heron ensures optimum system performance with predictable outcomes at a lower cost.

With the help of Centennial College Energy Institute faculty researchers and a number of students from the Energy Systems Engineering Technician program, along with funding from the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), test simulations permitted a better understanding of the relative impacts of system design changes without having to resort to costly physical prototypes and lengthy environmental testing. The simulations prove that grid-independent street lighting is physically and economically feasible in southern Ontario. Results are now being carried forward to a physical prototype and test phase, funded by a $50,000 FedDev grant. Testing will take place at Centennial's Progress Campus in Scarborough throughout 2011.

"Accurately modeling the solar and wind profiles of potential installation locations around the world has been critical in the development and delivery of our technology," says John Tuerk, founder and Vice-President of Blue Heron Systems. "Centennial's applied research program has assisted in all aspects of the business from engineering through to market research, and has allowed us to enter the market quicker and more effectively."

Blue Heron Systems comes out of stealth mode and will be launched at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery '11 trade show in Toronto, May 18 and 19.

About Blue Heron Systems
Blue Heron Systems develops hybrid solar/wind hardware and software technologies for off-grid and grid-tie applications in the streetlight/residential lighting, security and telecom markets. By providing self-healing mesh networking coupled with an intelligent cloud-based management platform, Blue Heron ensures optimum system performance with predictable outcomes at a lower cost. For more information, please visit www.blueheronsystems.com.

About the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Centennial College
Centennial College has a proven track record of successful industry partnerships by helping enterprises take their concepts to the next level. Centennial's Applied Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) connects industry with college faculty, students and resources to find real-world solutions to pragmatic problems. The focus is on small to mid-sized industry partners, assisting in the development, testing and commercialization of their innovative ideas. Visit research@centennialcollege.ca.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information:

Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, 416-289-5000, ext. 7142, mtoljagic@centennialcollege.ca

Media contact: Mark Windrim, VP Marketing, Mobile & Cloud Technologies, Blue Heron Systems, 416-847-7006, mark@blueheronsystems.com


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